"The forests are our planet’s lungs and a prerequisite for our long-term survival. Our well-managed forests transform carbon dioxide into life-giving oxygen and function as nature’s own carbon sink," says Iggesund Paperboard’s CEO Annica Bresky (pictured), as she enthusiastically describes the company’s new venture, Adopt a Tree.
This spring Iggesund Paperboard began handing out gift cards. The cards have a symbolic rather than monetary value: the company will plant ten trees in honour of each person who chooses to activate their card. A forest area ready for replanting in Nianfors in the Swedish province of Hälsingland has been reserved and has space for enough tree seedlings for up to 3,000 customers.
"We want to make it clear to all our customers that the price of Invercote or Incada includes replanting which will give us at least as much new forest as the amount we harvested," Bresky continues. "We’d like people to know that our paperboard material is one of only a few packaging materials that actually gives something back to nature."
Iggesund is part of the Holmen Group, which is on the United Nations list of the world’s 100 most sustainable companies. The group produces more than 30 million tree seedlings annually as a key part of its replanting strategy. Swedish law states that anyone who harvests forests is also responsible for replanting them. In practice this means that at least three seedlings must be planted for each tree that is felled.
"Of course we would still have planted these new trees to meet our obligations under the law and as part of good forest husbandry," Bresky adds. "But many of our customers around the world are not aware of the responsibility for replanting that is part of our business offering. We want anyone who buys Invercote or Incada to know that their purchase includes a replanting programme which ensures that the forest resources are intact or even increasing."
Iggesund uses tree fibres and water in its production process. The fibres can be recycled several times before their biogenic energy can finally be made use of via combustion. The water introduced into the process is purified in a two-stage process before use. After use it is purified in three more stages and then returned to the sea.
"I’m proud to work in a company that places such a high priority on sustainability," Bresky says. "We are a large process industry but our environmental impact is tiny compared with that of most other industries."
The Holmen Group, which includes Iggesund Paperboard, has felling and replanting statistics going back to 1948 which prove that the Group’s forest resources are constantly increasing. Not once since then has the group ever felled more timber than the annual growth in its forests.
"The Holmen Group was founded more than 400 years ago and Iggesund has existed since 1685. In all that time we have made our living from what the forests give us. Over time we’ve learned to balance our use of the timber to be in harmony with the forest’s growth. In a hundred years from now we will still be in balance," Bresky says.
"It’s important to us that all our customers realise how we take responsibility for our forests, and that they understand that the price of Invercote or Incada always includes a healthy replanting programme to replace the trees that have been used up," she adds.
Adopt a Tree is part of Iggesund’s broad-ranging service concept called Care by Iggesund. The concept includes everything that supports the products Invercote and Incada, from technical support in local markets to the paperboard expertise offered by the company in a variety of reference works.
"We don’t just want our customers to buy our paperboard, we also want them to get the most out of it," comments Arvid Sundblad, vice-president of sales and marketing and in charge of global sales. "All our documentation, together with our team of technicians, who are out in the local markets and who have experience from projects and operations similar to those of our customers, exists to ensure this."